WHILST I DREAMT MY DREAMS OF DREAMS
Silly title right?
Oh well… I tend to be silly from time to time.
I have to admit I don’t really get this whole blog thing. I’ve been told its important to do a blog (thank you Bailey) but I’m not sure exactly how one should be done or how it should look. I will get it at some point… One thing I know for sure is that what seems odd and unwieldy at first will, in time, become comfortable and easy. I don’t know exactly what I mean by that… not bragging… not really. It’s more like I know, from many years of being stressed about a new task, and then seeing it through and learning I had nothing to fear and only had to try my best… just like mom and dad promised… well… that’s part of it I guess.
So if, as I was told, a blog should be kind of a journal about what I’m doing and how I’ve done it thus far… here goes nothing.
I’m a Gemini… that may seem to have nothing to do with the explanation of my particular journey towards being a writer, but I think it does, at least in describing how I view the world and my stories.
Crap… now I feel like I’m starting an autobiography.
Oh well, in for a penny, in for a pound.
I am the product of two terribly different people.
Mom was a writer and artist… she was also very fragile and very sick.
Her gifts were hammered down by circumstance and illness and pure old fashioned bad luck.
Dad was a pretty simple guy from Texas… tough and stoic and destined to be joined at the hip to people he was unable to love the way he might have wished.
He was strong in his way and much like mom he was crushed by bad luck and bad choices.
I’ve got a lot of both of them, but I had a third parent that they could not have guessed would hold such sway over their unusual boy.
Mom wanted an artist and dad did his best to forge an unbreakable, blue collar, pillar of society.
However… parent number three… the God of my youth was TV.
Imagine if you will a boy with a brain that was part sponge, part mirror, and all fire of creation!
Dad used to tell a story about little Malcolm (me) when I saw my first TV.
They had gone to visit a friend who had a television (apparently we did not at that time) but the TV was busted.
Dad sat me on the floor in the living room as they entered the home of their friend and I staggered over to the lifeless picture box.
Their host said “its got no picture” as he bent down and turned the power on.
The screen came to life with white static and a soft hiss of the speakers.
The folks continued on into the home and were greeted by the others there and did what people do when attending a dinner party.
The story goes (as my father told it) that every so often he would look in on me and find that I was sitting in front of that white noise completely mesmerized.
He told me he didn’t know what I was seeing in that TV but I was seeing something and I was awed by it.
We eventually got a TV of our own and thus began a constant fight over the time I spent watching the horribly boob tube.
Years later my parental units would use my addiction to the tube as a way to modify my behavior.
If I wanted to watch TV I had to do what I was told and stay out of trouble.
It kind of worked… sometimes at least.
I’m getting off track here.
The point is I came from dirt poor and categorically different people just as the god like screens of the world were breaking from their infancy and beginning their domination of all our sights and sounds.
My imagination is equal parts of those three entities.
So… its no wonder that I tend to see my dreams and daydreams in vivid technicolor but when I sit down to write I find myself telling tales of simple folks experiencing things they can barely understand.
My mind is full of these few things…
Hope and hate.
Blood and horror.
Depravity and divinity.
Love and lust.
Birth and death.
Loss and redemption.
Gnashing of teeth and salty tears on pale cheeks.
Rain swept streets and sun baked planes.
Demons and gods and flying spaghetti monsters.
Twisted iron and bruised rose petals.
Cries in dark rooms and screams of triumph in the sun.
Pink little fingers within a crimson tarnished iron gauntlet.
A million images flick through my brain both day and night.
Pictures and words and moments I’ve never had tumble and toss around each other in a wild orgy of possible story lines.
It’s like a whisper in the back ground all the time.
Like a busted TV.
How could I do anything other than write…
I’ll tell you how.
Before I got going in life… as I became an adult… I found that the things I wanted, above and beyond the of telling stories… like money, food, respect, comradery, sex… well the path to those things was easy for a big and strong kid with a good head on his shoulders.
I took the easy way… the quick and urgent path.
I went to work.
I used my strength, and the work ethic I was taught by my dad, and the gift of gab that mom put in me, and I did well.
Not wall street well, not at all, this was small town Oregon coast well.
I was hot shit my friends… big and strong and young and fast and making good money.
I drank deep of all the pleasures of life and still had enough juice to care for two sickly parents.
I was not happy of course but I was locked into this path somehow.
I won’t bore you with the next 30 years but suffice to say I kept going in a circle… make money… dream of writing… loose money… go back to work… drink and love and rage and drink and love and… well sometimes I actually wrote stuff.
Mostly though I talked about that mythical someday when I would be a real writer.
I have to take a moment here and acknowledge that at no point in my life did any one ever say to me that I couldn’t do it, or I was dumb to think I could be a writer or I should just settle down.
Everyone in my long life of labor believed in me and more over they all encouraged me to go for it.
Even my dad… he just wanted me to be an awesome worker.
He never told me I couldn’t do anything I wanted… he just warned me that it was unlikely, and I should know how to take care of myself until I did get to where I was going.
The lack of trying to grab my dreams was my failing and mine alone.
I wallowed in a whole lot of instant gratification.
Ughhh… I’m pretty sure this is not what a blog is supposed to be and I’m beat so I’m gonna end this first installment in the life and times of me.
More to come…